Abandoned women and children are society’s most vulnerable victims. It’s truly a fine individual who stands up to protect them when the husband walks out on his own family.
So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the charity-minded Imus in the Morning crew once took a memorable stand against deadbeat dads. Don Kaplan’s article from the January 29, 2000 edition of the New York Post profiles an attempt by the Imus guys to combat this social ill. As I read this stirring tale, I instantly remembered why I miss this show so much.
Keep the tissues handy for this extremely moving profile of social activism.
Pranksters from the Don Imus radio show were threatened with arrest outside CBS's "Early Show" yesterday after they tried to collect money to help support co-host Bryant Gumbel's estranged wife and kids.
Gumbel's wife, June, says the millionaire TV personality is giving her and their two children only $250 a month in support. She is suing him for divorce.
Imus called the effort to collect money "Gumbel Aid 2000."
"Bryant Gumbel is a hideously unlikable person so [we'll do] anything [we] could do to [mess] with him," Imus told The Post yesterday. "We saw a need, and we thought we'd try to address it."
The Imus crew showed up at the new CBS studio at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue carrying posters and chanting, "No Money, No Justice."
They waved white plastic buckets with Gumbel's picture on them at passers-by, asking for donations of canned food and money to help the $5 million-a-year TV host pay child support for his 16-year-old daughter and 21-year-old son.
The whole episode aired live on Imus' radio show on WFAN and on TV on the MSNBC cable channel.
Gumbel had taken the day off and did not see the episode.
About 10 police officers showed up around 8:30 a.m. after "Early Show" executive producer Steve Friedman called 911.
The pranksters were ordered to leave because "Imus in the Morning" did not have a permit to park its broadcasting truck on the street, Friedman said.
"It's private property," he said.
Imus' producer, Bernard McGuirk, told Imus during the live broadcast, "We're either getting kicked out or we're getting our cars impounded and going to jail," as cameras caught police officers ordering the crew to leave.
When the "rally" ended, the Gumbel Aid 2000 buckets were filled with about $1.75 in change, a bottle of champagne and a can of sauerkraut.
"It's one thing to attack somebody for their performance," Friedman said. "To start playing with something that's happening in your personal life and your family with two kids around -- how low can you go?"
In her lawsuit, June Gumbel calls Gumbel a "serial adulterer."
June Gumbel's lawyer, Barry Slotnick, told a reporter that a therapist has been helping the family cope with the "Early Show" host's relationship with Hilary Quinlan, a blond bombshell with whom Gumbel now lives.
Earlier this week, June Gumbel asked a Westchester judge to order her husband to fork over $8,000 in emergency relief.
Imus claimed to have tried to reach June, but "her phone has been turned off."